Volleyball strives to gain new ground

The volleyball team will have a busy start to the 2012 season, facing 14 teams in the first three weeks as the Owls try to improve upon their 8-20 record last season.

Junior Gabriella Matautia, who led the team last year with 325 kills, and sophomore Tiffany Connatser, who was named to the Atlantic 10 Conference All-Rookie Team last season after leading the Owls with 965 assists, will lead the attack for the Owls again this season.

Coach Bakeer Ganes said Matautia and Connatser, along with junior Elyse Burkert and senior Chelsea Tupuola are the Owls’ top returning student-athletes.

“[Matautia], [Burkert], [Connatser] and [Tupuola] are a good core group coming back for us,” coach Bakeer Ganes said. “We expect a lot from them and they expect a lot from themselves.”

Temple will start the season, on Aug. 24 in the South Carolina Invitational against South Carolina, allowing the Owls a chance to avenge last season’s loss in straight sets against the Gamecocks. They’ll play three more matches before returning to Philadelphia to take part in the Big 5 tournament against Penn, Villanova and La Salle. Temple went 1-2 in the same tournament last season.

Less than a week later, the Owls will travel to Ohio to face Chicago State, Indiana State and Miami (Ohio) in the Miami, Ohio Invitational. After a non-conference home matchup against New Jersey Institute of Technology, Temple hosts a home invitational that includes Central Connecticut, Cornell and Navy.

“We like to start our season on the road and then come back and finish our non-conference schedule at home,” Ganes said.

Temple will then begin their last season of A-10 conference play, looking to improve after finishing eighth last year, before entering the Big East Conference in 2013.

“We have five new kids, and a lot of the young kids that played last year are more experienced and mature so it’s a good mix,” Ganes said. “This team is going to play until it’s over, leave everything on the court, and that’s something we’re trying to establish here.”

Here’s a complete look at the schedule for the 2012 volleyball season.

University of South Carolina Invitational
Fri. 8/24/2012 South Carolina Columbia, SC 12:30 PM Details
Fri. 8/24/2012 East Tennessee State Columbia, S.C. 5:30 PM Details
Sat. 8/25/2012 UNC Asheville Columbia, S.C. 10:00 AM Details
Sat. 8/25/2012 Akron Columbia, S.C. 5:30 PM Details
Big 5 Tournament
Fri. 8/31/2012 Penn Philadelphia, Pa. 7:00 PM Details
Sat. 9/1/2012 Villanova Philadelphia, Pa. 1:00 PM Details
Sat. 9/1/2012 La Salle Philadelphia, Pa. 4:00 PM Details
Miami of Ohio Invitational
Fri. 9/7/2012 Chicago State Oxford, Ohio 4:00 PM Details
Sat. 9/8/2012 Indiana State Oxford, Ohio 1:00 PM Details
Sat. 9/8/2012 Miami (Ohio) Oxford, Ohio 7:30 PM Live Stats Details
Wed. 9/12/2012 NJIT McGonigle Hall 6:00 PM Live Stats Details
Temple Invitational
Fri. 9/14/2012 Central Connecticut McGonigle Hall 4:00 PM Details
Fri. 9/14/2012 Navy McGonigle Hall 7:30 PM Live Stats Details
Sat. 9/15/2012 Central Connecticut vs. Cornell McGonigle Hall 10:00 AM Live Stats Details
Sat. 9/15/2012 Navy vs. Central Connecticut McGonigle Hall 1:00 PM Details
Sat. 9/15/2012 Cornell McGonigle Hall 5:00 PM Live Stats Details
Fri. 9/21/2012 * Rhode Island McGonigle Hall 7:00 PM Live Stats Details
Sat. 9/22/2012 * Fordham McGonigle Hall 7:00 PM Live Stats Details
Fri. 9/28/2012 * Xavier McGonigle Hall 7:00 PM Live Stats Details
Sat. 9/29/2012 * Dayton McGonigle Hall 7:00 PM Live Stats Details
Fri. 10/5/2012 * La Salle Philadelphia, Pa. 7:00 PM Details
Fri. 10/12/2012 * Duquesne Pittsburgh, Pa. 7:00 PM Details
Sun. 10/14/2012 * George Washington Washington, D.C. 1:00 PM Details
Fri. 10/19/2012 * Fordham New York, N.Y. 7:00 PM Details
Sun. 10/21/2012 * Rhode Island Kingston, R.I. 1:00 PM Details
Fri. 10/26/2012 * VCU McGonigle Hall 7:00 PM Live Stats Details
Sat. 10/27/2012 * Charlotte McGonigle Hall 7:00 PM Live Stats Details
Fri. 11/2/2012 * Saint Louis Saint Louis, Mo. 8:00 PM Details
Sun. 11/4/2012 * Butler Indianapolis, Ind. 12:00 PM Details
Fri. 11/9/2012 * La Salle McGonigle Hall 7:00 PM Live Stats Details

Brandon Stoneburg